Sustainable luxury in thatched huts framed by mangroves and tropical rainforest
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Beach | Diving | Eco-tourism | Natural world | Relaxation
The newly-opened Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans lies in the otherworldly Havelock Islands, an archipelago of verdant rocks that loom out of the ocean among turquoise waters. It was created to work in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings, focusing on sustainability throughout its build and minimising its footprint on the surrounding ecosystem.
Lying on the shores of sugar-white Radhanagar Beach fringed by a strip of mangrove, beach villas built on stilts dot the area with hut thatching made from natural, sustainable timber paying homage to the indigenous Jarawa tribe. Exquisite rooms feature glass walls for views of outside’s verdant canopy, while an ultra-modern interior is delightfully interspersed with laidback, ocean elements in fabrics and murals. Deck chairs and beds are perfect for relaxing on your own mangrove-surrounded decking, while presidential villas are built over two storeys, with a personal pool overlooking the secluded beach and landscaped gardens.
Dining options lie in three stunning restaurants, with The Settlers offering an immersive culinary experience on a moonlit courtyard overlooking the beach, where guests enjoy cocktails before an exquisite multi-course dinner created from local produce – the lobster and crab are particularly notable. The more casual Turtle House lies poolside, specialising in grills for a long leisurely lunch or starlit dinner. Over in Shoreline, enjoy indulgent breakfasts and in the evening, coastal curries, overlooking beautiful vistas in the sea breeze.
Rich coral reef ecosystems lie in these clear waters, perfectly explored with snorkelling, where you’ll spot manta rays, stingrays and parrotfish in their masses, while scuba diving will see you exploring the remains of a boat wreck. Or, perhaps you'd rather go sustainable game fishing for snappers, swordfish and tuna. This coast also plays host to two large nesting turtle populations – head here between December and February and a guided night walk leads you to the site of female turtles laying their eggs. Nighttime also grants you the chance to marvel at the enchanting glow of nocturnal bioluminescent plankton, explored with night kayaking among mangroves, where you’ll also spot blue-eyed bulbuls, parakeets and sea eagles. There's also an infinity pool and luxury spa to indulge in, offering a wealth of treatments in stylish beach cabanas.
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